West Ham United have made Nigerian centre forward Obafami Martins a surprise target in the January transfer window to relieve their worrying striker shortage.
Manager Sam Allardyce is tracking Martins, with a view for a loan deal in the coming month, as West Ham are desperate to sign a striker, having also been linked with Uruguay veteran Diego Forlan, and Argentine striker Diego Milito.
Allardyce is in dear need of capturing a striker, as West Ham sit in a perriles position and sit just above the relegaion zone in 17th place following Saturday’s 4-1 defeat away at Liverpool on Saturday, putting preassure on Allardyce in the process.
Record signing Andy Carroll is still some time of a return, therefore Allardyce needs a short term fix to aid the Hammers woes.
The former Newcastle United centre forward is currently plying his trade in the MLS, with Seattle Sounders, and like many top players over there, would fancy a move abroad in the American pre season. Players such as Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane have both had loan spells with Premier League clubs, after their season with Los Angeles Galaxy had concluded.
Allardyce managed Martins during his spell at Newcastle and Martins went on to spend three years on Tyneside. scoring 35 goals in three years. The 29-year-old has netted eight goals in 22 games for Seattle in the Major League Soccer campaign.
Martins could see a short-term spell at West Ham as being beneficial to his hopes of securing a place in Nigeria’s World Cup squad.
Hammers co chairman David Gold has promised the club’s supporters a signing in the January window, after telling a fan’s forum that he and David Sullivan are working on deals.
Allardyce found deadline day frustrating as he missed out on Chelsea pair Demba Ba and Romelu Lukaku, with the latter now on loan at Everton. Allardyce also missed out on Loic Remy and Jermain Defoe during the summer and have paid the price for a lack of goals.
Andy Carroll’s injury problems have meant Allardyce has been forced to rely heavily on Modibo Maiga, who has not scored in the Premier League since Dec 1 last year, in West Ham’s impressive 3-1 victory against Chelsea.
West Ham have a fixture pile up in the next few week’s, starting on Saturday with a crunch game against fellow strugglers Sunderland, followed by games against underperforming Manchester United, a London derby against Table toppers Arsenal, and a game away at Fulham.
By Ben Reardon